Written by George Lucas, Jonathan Hales
Directed by George Lucas

Running Time: 2:22

Rated PG
for sustained sequences of sci-fi action/violence.

Ewan McGregor
as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Natalie Portman
as Senator Padmé Amidala

Hayden Christensen
as Anakin Skywalker

Ian McDiarmid
as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/
Darth Sidious

Samuel L. Jackson
as Mace Windu

Christopher Lee
as Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus

Anthony Daniels
as C-3PO/ Lt. Dannl Faytonni

Frank Oz
as Yoda (voice)

Kenny Baker
as R2-D2

Temuera Morrison
as Jango Fett

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: Episode II -
Attack of the Clones

Star Wars: Episode II - Jango Fett
Jango Fett

Star Wars: Episode II - Padme Amidala
Padme Amidala

Star Wars: Episode II - Darkside

Star Wars: Episode II - Jedi Knight
Jedi Knight


Three years after The Phantom Menace introduced us to a young Anakin Skywalker, now comes Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. A much more entertaining film than the last, Clones still suffers from poor dialogue and almost too much CGI, but has more action and more intrigue as we follow the path of the man who will be Darth Vader.


It's been ten years since we last saw Anakin (Hayden Christensen), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and now Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman). The Republic, under the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is having discussions about creating a Republic Army to help the Jedis hold back the Separatist movement. Senator Amidala is against creating an Army, and because of that, someone is trying to kill her. Anakin and Obi-Wan are sent to protect her and try and find out who is behind her assassination attempt. Anakin and Amidala go back to her home planet of Naboo, while Obi-Wan finds a hidden planet that is creating an army of clone warriors. There, he finds Jango Fett, the bounty hunter hired to kill Amidala, but Obi-Wan needs to find out who hired Fett. Meanwhile, Anakin senses something is wrong with his mother, and he and Amidala head to her home to find her. When he does, Anakin does something that foreshadows his decent into the dark side. But even so, Amidala is falling in love with the man who would be Darth Vader, and will someday soon be the father to Luke and Leia. At the same time, the Republic, in order to protect itself, hands over total control to Palpatine, unaware that he is in fact Darth Sidious. As the movie ends, the Clone War is about to begin.


Clones, as I said before, was more entertaining than The Phantom Menace. We weren't made to suffer watching a young boy deal with growing up and leaving his mother. Instead we now get to see a young man deal with a lack of a mother, a mentor who won't let him grow up, and falling for a woman he should not love. More of a love story than any of the other four parts of the Star Wars family, Clones I felt did a decent job jumping between the necessarily romance of Anakin and Amidala, and the set up of the Clone Wars. There were times where I felt a little bored, mainly in the middle of the film where Obi-Wan is figuring out what was going on, and Anakin and Amidala were finding out more about each other, but for the most part, the action kept me in there.

Let's start with the love story. We all know in the future Anakin and Amidala wed and have children, so we need to now see how all that started. Anakin, who was very young when he first met Amidala, says that he dreamt of her every night for ten years and has been in love with her since. Amidala, after a long while, admits to being in love with Anakin as well. We're not really shown why they care for each other, other than they're both young, attractive people, but since most romantic comedies rarely let the audience understand why the couple love each other, I can let that pass. They certainly are a handsome couple. Hayden Christensen is a stud in the making, with a look that for some reason reminds me of a more hard-edge Paul Walker, with a little bit of Tom Cruise thrown in. And Natalie Portman has always been a beautiful and talented leading lady, but who knew her abs looked so good? It's a good thing they are so good looking, because some of their dialogue with each other is extremely cheesy and groan-inducing. And scenes like them sitting on a blanket having a picnic and Amidala running through the fields while Anakin rides a creature seemed out of place in this story. But within the 2+ hour running time, you do get a feeling for them, and do start to care about them and their relationship, even though you know by the next film, something will go horribly wrong. Or horribly good if you're a fan of the dark side.

Then there's the rest of the movie. Not being a huge fan of the Star Wars Saga, I'm not very good at keeping up with characters and story lines. So when it was mentioned that a Senator ten years ago ordered the creation of the Clone army, I had no idea who they were talking about. And trying to remember back to the original trilogy and making sense of what happens now, knowing what will happen in the future... well let's say if you think too much, smoke might start coming out of your ears. Clones, by itself, for the most part made sense to me. If I am correct, then Count Dooku was more or less a diversion while Palpatine gained control over the Republic and control over the Clone army, which in itself is a pretty interesting story. So (as long as I'm actually correct), I was able to follow the story within this movie, although I'm still not sure how everything fits in to everything else that has and will happen. But that is my own problem.

The entire movie was one large special effect. There wasn't one scene where there wasn't some kind of CGI going on, either in the forefront, or in the background. The chase scene towards the beginning was rather fun, if also rather dark and at times hard to see. The big battle scene towards the end with Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) finally getting into it was also pretty good. And of course the final battle scene with Count Dooku fighting first Obi-Wan, then Anakin and finally the kick-ass Yoda, was the highlight of the film. The rumble in the theater when Yoda went into his fighting stance, and then starting kicking some serious ass was just downright cool. I had heard about Yoda's fight scene before I went into the film, but was still impressed, and I hope he gets a longer fight scene in the next installment. The CGI this time out wasn't as annoying as the last film. It all seemed to flow together a little better and while there were still times where it was overdone (again the scene with Anakin riding some kind of creature was just unnecessary), it worked better than in the previous film.


Overall, I'd say I enjoyed Attack of the Clones. The characters were a little more interesting than the last film (although still not up to the quality of the originals), the special effects meshed better with the live action, and the storyline was clearer and more intriguing. Unlike The Phantom Menace where I enjoyed the film, but didn't care what happened next, with Clones I am really looking forward to seeing how and why Anakin turns into the greatest villain in movie history, Darth Vader.

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reviewed 05/18/02

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